Teaching of Phonics and Reading
At Provost Williams, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc. This programme is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. It ensures children develop fluency and automaticity whilst translating this into writing and SPAG skills.
Children begin the RWInc programme in Nursery, where they learn through play pre-phonic skills such as listening skills, rhyme, alliteration, saying sentences and oral blending. They learn new sounds in preparation for Reception. The RWInc programme continues throughout Key Stage 1, increasing in complexity of sound, text, retrieval and inference until children leave the programme. This can however, continue into Key Stage 2, if needed.
In years 2 to 6, we continue to secure and further develop children’s decoding and comprehension skills in daily discrete reading lessons using a whole class reading approach. Lessons are based on the acronym VIPERS to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains:
Sequence or Summarise
These lessons last for around 25 minutes and include modelled reading by the teacher, vocabulary work and paired reading aloud where children work on developing fluency. They then learn and practise the skills needed to understand the meaning and structure of what they read.
By the time children leave us, we aim to have developed fluent readers who enjoy reading. We realise how important reading is for secondary school and life beyond and so reading is embedded throughout the whole curriculum; exploring texts and practising skills in English, Science, and Topic and RE. Vocabulary is explored throughout all lessons, both planned and incidentally.
Once children are able to read simple chapter books fluently they progress to the Accelerated Reader programme. This allows children to choose real books rather than specially written reading scheme books, and gives them a wider choice. Children take a Star Test each half term which gives them a ZPD band, and this ensures the books they choose are closely matched to their reading ability. Children can choose from the bottom of their band for an easier, faster read or from higher up for more stretch. These books are read daily in school, either independently or to an adult.
When children finish a book they take a quiz on that book that checks their comprehension. This makes sure children are reading carefully and really understanding the book. Quiz results and Start Tests are closely monitored by teachers so we can intervene quickly if a child is either struggling or not making progress.
We are fortunate to have a lovely library area with a range of fiction, non-fiction, picture and poetry books to suit all ages. EYFS children visit the library each week to choose a book to take home, and KS2 children use it both for choosing their school reading book and during Free Reading sessions. Children are also able to visit the library at lunch times to borrow books.
Reading at home expectation
Reading to and with your child is the most important thing you can do to help them at school. We ask all parents to hear their children read at least 3 times a week, talking about what they have read, the vocabulary, and in KS2 comparing books with others children have enjoyed. This should be recorded in the reading diary.
Reading for pleasure
We are currently taking part in the Open University Reading for Pleasure programme to develop a life-long love of reading in children and widen their knowledge of books.
Studies from around the world have shown that a love of reading is strongly linked not only to success at school, but even to a longer life! It develops empathy and knowledge apart from providing immense pleasure.
All classes have weekly ‘Free Reading’ sessions when they are able to read what they want, where they want, and we encourage ‘Book Talk’ among children and staff, discussing, comparing and recommending books. We want children to enjoy being read to, and teachers read to their classes at least three times a week.
Other activities the children may take part in are:
Reading to children in other classes
Book stations in the playground
Being read to at playtime by one of our Reading Champions
Holiday Reading activities and challenges
We are keen to support parents in enjoying reading with their children, and run half termly Reading Cafes, where parents can come and read with their children, have a drink and a biscuit, and take away a favourite book to keep.
Provost Williams are part of the Own Books project. FREE books are delivered to school regularly and children can choose books to take home.